by
on March 21, 2019 on 3/21/19 from

Productivity: noun; the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.

Collage of a Kobe shotengai (shopping strips that have a protective roof).

Studying in Japan and solely taking Japanese language classes meant taking a break from art school for a bit. That meant pretty much the vigorous art making I’ve been used to for the past two years. This was something that I was incredibly excited and anxious to do. I would say my school is pretty vigorous with 6 hour studios almost every day of the week and a heavy workload outside of class, for each of those classes. I constantly felt so overwhelmed with stress all the time trying to not only keep with up the workload but also still trying to make the most engaging and meaningful work that I could. It became so physically and emotionally tasking because of how much I use art as a form of expression and as a means to communicate and facilitate conversation. With the combination of my own pressure to make great work all the time, and also the demands of responding to prompts in the most conceptual way possible, while also trying to make the work the most technically sound as possible … man. Like every two weeks you get a new assignment and once you finish that assignment you don’t really get time to recover and process what the heck just happened. I think the pressure to be constantly creating was a lot. I felt like I needed a break to recollect everything. 

So when study abroad came, my choices to both study abroad in Japan and take film classes were non-existent so it took me a bit to become very okay with it. I knew I could still be somewhat creating while there and hopefully stay inspired by taking in everything around me. I felt like taking a break from everything was worth it for my own mental health and creativity. 

So fast forward to now, I haven’t really made any film or video work in the past two months and I’ll be honest I’m feeling a little antsy. 

I see what my peers at school are doing right now and I feel like I’m being a lazy lil capybara, instead of the ever moving shark that I usually am. I feel a little FOMO and that I should be working and creating and whatever whatever. 

Its hard under a system of capitalism that convinces you that in order to be a good human being you must be productive at all times. We also live in a society where its all about fast action and fast results. I remind myself that artists tend to spend years cultivating projects until they are finally ready to be worked on and then years again to finally release into the world. 

I try not to be so hard on myself. I’m working hard on my language studies everyday and getting better at Japanese day by day. I’m balancing school life and still trying to experience as much as I can. I’m allowing myself to take a break and just breathe and live, all things that are vital to my own growth.

Fisheye shot of Suma beach.